This week has been website week. So I've been really thinking about what I say about pregnancy and birth. And I've realised I'm regularly completely inconsistent.
I appreciate that's not a great ad for my services. If you're thinking about giving birth, though, getting comfortable with conflict is important. Let me give you some examples;
More than anything, I want women to be able to make informed choices. But I'm also realistic that the things women commonly experience in birth (like tiredness, intensity, nausea) all affect your ability to think clearly. And that's why when I talk about birth planning, we talk about contingency planning too. And it's why confident, well informed birth partners are so important - because they are critical in supporting women to make the right decision for the MOMENT
I want to give every woman the opportunity to experience her birth as empowering and awesome. But I also want them to know that the physicality, the hormones, the sheer singularity of it, can make you very, very vulnerable. When you understand where your vulnerabilities lie, you are more capable of mitigating them.
For every woman birth should be precious and marvellous. But it happens every day - about 250 times a minute.
Birth is really simple. It's a physiological process that requires some specific contextual factors to progress smoothly. Put those factors in place (and remove those that interrupt it), and you optimise your chances of birth progressing smoothly. But I never forget that birth is also unpredictable, and midwives who attend labouring women monitor a complex and dynamic set of information.
Because birth is a physiological process I do not believe it belongs in a medical environment - right up until it does. I'm all for choosing to give birth where the environment is designed with the comfort of the labouring woman in mind, rather than the ease of the physician. But I am able to say this from the comfortable position of one who does not have clinical responsibility for people's lives. I am in awe of the people who work in the NHS. No-one is there for the salary or glory any more. Maternity services are under-invested and over-stretched, and those that work in them deserve our respect and gratitude, maybe more now than ever.
Want to know more? The next group course is on Sunday 3rd March 2019, at Fisical Yoga Studio in Sevenoaks. There are only 2 spaces remaining - so email me now to reserve your space at firstname.lastname@example.org